Butterfly knives are also known by the names of fan knives and Balisong knives. There is another name by which they are called and that is the Batanga knives. This name is not quite widely used and has a more geographic touch to it. Butterfly knives are basically folding knives that can be easily carried around in pockets. 

This knife has one blade but two handles that rotate themselves around the tang of the knife. The blade is tucked inside the handles when both of the handles close themselves around it. There is a groove inside one of the handles where the blade actually goes and conceals itself.

Butterfly knives can be used to perform a variety of tasks but the most common use of these knives is in the art of flipping. Flippers are seen using these knives most of the time. Also, we all know that we need a blade that is fast and efficient to perform our indoor and outdoor tasks. 

It does not matter whether we spend most of our time indoors or outdoors, a knife is something which we need anyway. A flipper knife is easy to access and has a relatively faster mechanism than other knives. This is why it can be used for self-defense as well.

These knives allow the user to deploy the blade fastly without losing any more time and that can be the difference between your life and death in a life-threatening and dangerous situation. 

Also, butterfly knives are famous for their sharp blades, which help greatly in a self-defense situation and in a situation where you require the use of a good utility tool.

There are many conflicting stories that point towards the origins of a butterfly knife but the most convincing states that it has a Filipino origin which means that the butterfly knife was originated for the first time in the Philippines. 

The people of the Philippines used this knife as a utility tool as well as a self-defense weapon.

Sometimes, they would use them in place of razors as well so yes it was a barber’s tool as well. They also used butterfly knives in ancient Filipino arts where they flipped them around their hands and performed various tricks with them for amusement. 

However, it was a very dangerous art as people would usually lose their fingers or suffer from cuts and various injuries because of these knives.

That is when trainers were introduced. The butterfly knife trainers were solely constructed for training purposes and this is why their blades were made blunt and unsharpened so they wouldn't hurt anyone. 

There was not a risk of injury with the trainers and this why they became famous as the safe alternatives to real butterfly knives.

The main use of butterfly knives is in the entertainment industry, however, through research, it has come up that those flipping tricks performed with these knives can actually improve the eye and hand coordination of a person’s body.

Parts of a Butterfly Knife

A butterfly knife has a unique design and structure and this is why it has some parts which other knives do not have. As we discussed above that a balisong has one blade and two handles that rotate around the tang. Let us have a look at these parts one by one.

1- The Bite Handle:

One of these handles is known as the bite handle and this is the handle that closes itself towards the sharp side of the knife’s blade. The latch is also attached to this same handle and the user must not grip it too hard otherwise it may hurt him/her.

2- The Safe Handle:

The other handle is known as the safe handle. This is the handle that encloses in its groove the unsharpened side of the knife’s blade. This is why it is known as the safe handle and it does not have a latch on it as well.

3- The Kicker

As the blade of this cool knife tucks itself inside the two handles, therefore, there must be some sort of protective material on the blade that protects the inside of the bite handle from the sharpened edge of the blade. This material or part of the blade is known as the kicker. This prevents the inside of the bite handle from suffering any sort of damage.

4- The Latch

The latch is basically the locking mechanism of the knife and it keeps the knife in a closed position and prevents its accidental opening. The knife can only be opened when the latch is removed by hand. 

There is a latch gate present with the latch. This is basically a block present inside the handles and prevents the latch from making any contact with the blade of the knife.

5- The Tag Pins

Butterfly knives also have tag pins on them. These pins are there to make sure that the blade stays away from the handle when the knife is in a closed position. This prevents the knife from dulling too soon and the knife keeps its edge for a longer time as well. 

In some of the knives, there is another knife that prevents the blade and the handles from making contact way too much.

6- The Zen Pins

A butterfly knife also has some zen pins on it which are present inside the knife’s handles. These screws are there to prevent the blade from rotating or moving too much and keeps it in a stable and somewhat firm position whether the knife is closed or it is open.

Flipping Tricks

As a butterfly knife is mostly used for flipping, therefore, there are some tricks and techniques of properly using it. People who use it for entertainment purposes have devised certain flipping tricks. So, let us have a look at them.

The first thing is to hold the knife properly. You must make sure that you hold the knife from its safe handle and never from its bite handle to prevent any sort of harm or injury to your hand. If you are a beginner, then start with a closed knife. 

A butterfly knife has two sides; one is sharp and the other one is dull so you should always keep yourself away from its sharp side and grip the knife from the safe side. This is rule number one which must be remembered always and is for your own safety.

The next is to practice some basic flipping move with the knife. For this, you will have to flick your wrist in a backward position and hold the knife in front of you as if you are pointing it towards someone who is in front of you. 

You should flick your wrist in a way that is similar to the flicking motion of your hand when you cast a fishing line.

This kind of reverse motion must be practiced. Also, make sure to flip your wrist only when the knife is an opened position and the bite handle of the knife which encloses the sharp edge of the knife’s blade makes contact with your holding hand in between your forefinger and thumb. Do not move your hand and keep it in an unmoving position.

The next step includes flipping the knife in a forward position. For this, you will have to close the knife by flipping it back with a flick of your wrist in a downwards position this time. 

This will close the knife and you will have the knife in the same way as you had it before opening it. This was all about flipping the knife closed or back to its original position. Quite simple. Isn’t it? And totally opposite to what we did for opening the knife in the flick opening technique.

The next step in performing these basic flipping moves is to flip the knife in an upwards position again by opening the thumb of your holding hand. Remember that when you did it the last time you had the knife’s handle hit you in between your forefinger and thumb. You have to perform the same step and flip the knife in the upwards position just the same way.

However, the only thing that will be different this time is that you will open your thumb and move it a little to the side in this step. This action of yours will result in the smacking of the knife’s bite handle to the knife’s safe handle that you are actually holding. 

The knife will be closed and engaged properly with the latch. Now that the knife is in a closed position, you can bring your thumb over the handles for safely gripping the knife.

Now if you know the basics of butterfly knives, so would you like to have one for yourself? There are many people who admire these knives and are fascinated by them and if you share the same admiration for these knives like the rest of them then here is a little guide to go through with a Butterfly Knife that will help you out greatly.

There are some things which you should know before you venture out to do anything with a butterfly knife. 

The fact that butterfly knives are quite dangerous and numerous accidents have been reported with them, not to mention the crime rate that has considerably increased because of these knives, has made butterfly knives illegal in most of the countries. When it comes to the US, each state has its own laws regarding this weapon.

Therefore, before buying a butterfly knife you must make sure that it is legal to own and carry it in your state otherwise you can get into some serious trouble with the state’s police and if you break the law, then you can be charged with a heavy fine and imprisonment. 

Laws are not the same throughout the country so always check your local laws before buying any weapon. 

Also, you must be aware of the risks of using this knife even if it is just for amusement and entertainment. These knives are pretty dangerous and you must take some time to think if this hobby is for you or not. Let’s get started now!

Safety Measures

1- Train with a Training Knife

Beginners mostly feel frightened and injure themselves during the training period but with a butterfly knife, they don’t have to be frightened or worried anymore. Why? Because beginners have the option to use butterfly knife trainers instead which work just like the real butterfly knives and are designed in a similar way. 

The only difference between these two knives is that a trainer has an unsharpened or a blunt blade whereas a real knife has, of course, a real and a sharpened blade. Trainers are easily accessible in markets all over the world and as a safe alternative to the butterfly knives, they must be used by beginners when they start their training.

Training with a real knife will only lead to injuries no matter how careful you are with them. And it will also affect your learning and progress because you won’t be able to focus on your training if you are frightened of getting yourself hurt. With a trainer, you feel more comfortable and don’t have to be much more careful. 

Trainers are also cheap to buy and they come in a huge variety so you are free to choose according to your preference. Trainer knives are durable and you don’t have to worry about them breaking easily. Even if you do, then they are quite cheaper than the real butterfly knives and you can always buy a new one at a cheap rate.

2- Play Safe

Even when you are trained enough and you move onto a real knife, you must practice safety. You must keep a check on your knife on a regular basis and make sure that the latch of the knife is done properly. Also, always grip the knife with the safe handle and never with the bite handle to keep yourself safe and to prevent injuries. 

Another safety measure that you can take with a real butterfly knife is that you can cover the sharp edge of its blade with tape. This will also minimize the chances of accidental injuries. So, this way if the knife gets out of hand or you lose control of it and something gets awry, then at least you won’t cut your fingers.


This was all about helping you get started with a butterfly knife. Butterfly knives may seem to be badass but they are dangerous as well and you must never forget this fact. Go for these knives only when you are willing to take the risks that come with them. 

Always start training with trainer knives and move onto real ones later. Practice and master basic moves first and turn towards the complex ones later on. Also, trainer knives are cheap in cost so it is easy to get started with the art of flipping with these Balisong knives when you are a beginner.